US, UK, Canada & Australia Warn Citizens from Travelling to Nigeria… As Violence Escalates
Huhuonline.com http://huhuonline.com/ reports that multiple bomb explosions have rocked the mobile police barracks in Nigeria's Gombe State capital, as the assailants carted away arms and ammunition during the raid which left scores of people dead and others critically injured. The bomb attack is coming on the heels of declarations by the United States of America , Australia, Canada and Britain that Nigeria is a terrorist state and warning their citizens to desist from travelling to Nigeria until the security situation in the country improves.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Orubebe Ebikeme, who confirmed the Sunday bombing of the mobile police base in Kwame Local Government Area, disclosed that no fewer than three persons were killed in the gruesome daylight attack.
Huhuonline.com checks revealed that the attackers went to the base around 2.20 a.m., on Sunday, and bombed the base which is located five kilometres away from Gombe town. The raiders were alleged to have taken some arms and ammunition with them.
E ye witness account also states that 'The administrative block of the base was set on fire and many cars parked on the premises were burnt with corpses lying outside the perforated wall just as the area was cordoned off with armed mobile policemen and bomb disposal detectives conducting search around the premises.'
The Gombe state Police Commissioner, Mr Orubebe Ebikeme, said he had invited officers and men of the bomb disposal unit from Yola to investigate the incident, and vowed to give details after the bomb disposal experts might have completed their job. 'There are still unexploded bombs around the area.'
Meanwhile, the United States of America, Australia, Canada and Britain has warned their citizens to desist from travelling to Nigeria until the security situation in the country improves.
The warning reads: 'The US Department of State warns US citizens of the risks of travel to Nigeria and continues to recommend US citizens avoid all but essential travel to the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom , Bayelsa , Delta and Rivers; the south-eastern states of Abia , Edo , Imo ; the city of Jos in Plateau State, Bauchi and Borno states in the North-east and the Gulf of Guinea, because of the risks of kidnapping, robbery and other armed attacks in these areas.
'Violent crime committed by individuals and gangs, as well as by persons wearing police and military uniforms, remains a problem throughout the country. This notice replaces the Travel Warning for Nigeria dated October 19, 2010, to update information on recent violent activity and crime in Nigeria.'
The Australian government also on Sunday issued fresh travel warnings to its nationals just as the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office reaffirmed a similar statement issued two weeks ago warning their citizens against travelling to Nigeria, while Canada issued its warning on September 28.
The British government has also in a statement, said the travel advice updated on October 6, 2011 was 'still current as at October 16, 2011' and 'has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Travel Summary (removal of reference to 51st anniversary of independence). The overall level of the advice has not changed; we advise against all but essential travel to Abia State, Bauchi State and to Jos and its surrounding areas; we advise against all travel to some other areas of Nigeria.'
Canadian warning states 'Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against non-essential travel to Nigeria.The security situation in Nigeria is unpredictable and there is a significant risk of crime, inter-communal clashes, armed attacks, banditry, and kidnappings. There is a high threat of domestic terrorism in some states of Nigeria.'
That of Australia reads: 'We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Nigeria at this time, due to the very high threat of terrorist attack, the high risk of kidnapping, the unpredictable security situation, the heightened risk of violent civil unrest and the high level of violent crime. If you do decide to travel to Nigeria, you should exercise extreme caution. The security situation could deteriorate without warning and you could be caught up in violence directed at others.
'Following the attack on United Nations House in Abuja on August 26, 2011, media reports suggest terrorists may be planning further attacks in Nigeria and targeting churches, mosques and national institutions. Security has been tightened at many public buildings in Abuja. 'There has been an increase in violent attacks in Nigeria since October 2010. Continued reporting indicates terrorists may be planning attacks against a range of targets, including domestic and foreign government institutions and against Western interests. Targets frequented by Westerners may include major hotels, cinemas, places of worship, bars and restaurants and densely populated urban centres.
'Locations frequented by foreigners have been attacked in the past and may be targeted in the future, including in Abuja. There were a number of violent incidents before and during the 2011 elections. There has been an increase in localised political tension and the security situation in some areas in Nigeria remains fragile. Curfews remain in place in some states and further curfews could be imposed quickly and with limited notice, should the security situation start to deteriorate. You should monitor local media for possible restrictions. 'You should be aware that there is a risk of serious inter-communal violence and unrest throughout the country, particularly in the central and northern regions of Nigeria . You should avoid all protests, rallies and demonstrations as they may turn violent.
'We strongly advise you not to travel to the riverine area in Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers (including Port Harcourt and Bonny Island), Abia State, Akwa Ibom and Anambra states in South-Eastern Nigeria, because of continuing militant activity, the high risk of kidnapping, armed robbery and other armed attacks against foreign oil companies and personnel, localised conflict and violent civil unrest. 'We strongly advise you not to travel to Borno and Plateau states because of the volatile security situation, including ongoing inter-communal tensions and frequent violent attacks. If you are in Borno or Plateau State, you should consider leaving.
'If, despite our advice not to travel to these areas, you decide to go to or stay in these regions, you should ensure you have adequate and continuous close personal protection from a professional security service.
'Given the unpredictable security situation in Nigeria, we strongly recommend that you register your travel and contact details with us, so that we can contact you in an emergency.'
Huhuonline.com can also report that another orgy of violence reared its head on Saturday in Jos, Plateau State, where a soldiers with the Special Task Force (Operation Safe Heaven) was mobbed and killed by unidentified youths within the state capital despite prompt moves by the security agencies to avert the recurring crisis.
A statement endorsed by the Media Officer of the Special Task Force, Captain Charles Ekeocha, and made available to Huhuonline.com in Jos, disclosed that 'Sergent Baba Wuya, was on his way to check another soldier of his guard post at about 8.00 p.m on Saturday when he was macheted to death by unidentified persons along Lasisi Street, Ali Kazaure area of Jos North Local Government Area of the state. He was murdered in cold blood, ostensibly by the same people he was trying to protect.'
Huhuonline.com sources said that 'men of the Special Task Force are combing the area and making series of arrest as a result of the killing. There is pandemonium in the area because of the incident and residents have deserted the area while others closed shop in apparent fear of reprisal assault from embittered soldiers.'